Court of Appeal rules on abortion laws

June 2nd, 2011 at 10:01 am by David Farrar

Bronwyn Torrie in the Dom Post reports:

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court judge’s ruling that unborn children do not have a right to life.

It also dismissed comments made by the judge about many abortions being granted “on request”.

It’s that second paragraph which is more significant. The High Court commented that we effectively have an on demand system in New Zealand (which effectively we do – the number of requests declined is close to zero), while the law says should be granted only when there is serious risk of physical or psychological harm from having the birth.

Now personally I don’t think women should have to prove psychological harm to be able to have an abortion, so I have no problem with the current practice. However I was not surprised the High Court pointed out the apparent mismatch between the law and the practice. My solution would be to update the law to reflect the practice.

However the Court of Appeal has disagreed, and struck out the comments of Justice Miller. This means that we are likely to continue for some time with the status quo.

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124 Responses to “Court of Appeal rules on abortion laws”

  1. Scott (1,765 comments) says:

    Saw this one too DPF. What struck me was the phrase “the unborn child does not have a right to life”. Does anyone besides me find this disturbing?

    So the unborn child, at eight months gestation, does not have the right to life? If that child was born early, then presumably that child does have a right to life? Once born there is a right to life. But in the mother’s womb there is no right to life? Have I got that right?

    Do any of you liberals out there find this disturbing? Or is it just us Christians?

    [DPF: i think there is a right to life when the foetus is viable outside the mother]

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  2. georgebolwing (769 comments) says:

    The policy objective should be that abortion is safe, legal and rare.

    Safe and legal are easy: abortions should be conducted by doctors in properly equipped and supervised facilities, not by quacks in back streets.

    Rare requires a sensible policy to sex education and reminding people that we no longer live in the dark ages and having sex no longer needs to lead to pregnancy. While not having sex is one way to avoid pregnancy, there are others. And since having sex is part of our genetic make-up, I think we should acknowledge the reality that as long as there are people, there will be sex.

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  3. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    Yay a post on abortion!

    Any women have anything to say on this or are we only going to hear from the angry old men?

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  4. berend (1,699 comments) says:

    Worms and mammals are protected by law, but unborn children can be “terminated” on demand.

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  5. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    I find it disturbing. I do believe that abortion is permissible in the right circumstances. I am not a total ‘right to life’ but I also don’t go along with the idea that killing an unborn baby is nothing more than getting liquid nitrogen on an unsightly wart.

    What is more worrying is that the courts are quite happy to see the unborn potential of a person as dispensable yet they won’t approve capital punishment on someone who has clearly demonstrated that their potential is only to cause misery to others.

    Isn’t it a bit two-faced for the state to be killing babies but not killing adults. Surely ‘that’s not fair’ as seems to be the screech that is the current fad with the progressive movement.

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  6. AlphaKiwi (682 comments) says:

    @ Scott. It’s okay. All aborted and still born babies go to Heaven anyway. So, what’s the problem?

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  7. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (786 comments) says:

    Quick. Someone run a book on how many comments this one hits

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  8. smttc (731 comments) says:

    Actually Alphakiwi, I think you will find that they go to Limbo.

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  9. Scott (1,765 comments) says:

    Serious comments please — this is a serious issue. I’m sorry if I don’t feel like joking. I’m sorry if I am a man and I have no right to comment on this. But seeing that half of the children aborted are boys then maybe I do have a right.

    Basically the court of appeal has ruled that unborn children do not have a right to life. Presumably they are not people. They are not persons entitled to the protection of the law? It does remind me of a ruling that occurred back in the 1930s under a regime that also enabled the trains to run on time. But look if you liberals are comfortable with it and have got time for joking then that’s up to you.

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  10. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    Eugenics anyone?

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  11. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    Worms and mammals are protected by law

    A strange point – shouldn’t I be trying to reduce mice, rat and possum numbers, and shouldn’t I let the chooks eat the worms that my digging uncovers? Ah, I’m not vegetarian either.

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  12. AlphaKiwi (682 comments) says:

    @ Scott My comment was serious.

    @ smttc The Catholic Church did away with the doctrine of limbo in the past couple of years. It was big news.

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  13. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    “Actually Alphakiwi, I think you will find that they go to Limbo.”

    Still, as most of them wouldn’t be Catholic, they’re still better off.

    “Basically the court of appeal has ruled that unborn children do not have a right to life. Presumably they are not people.”

    All the Court of Appeal did was uphold the existing, long standing common law rule that a fetus is not regarded as “a person” with all the legal rights of such until she/he is “born alive” (i.e. fully emerges from its mother’s body in a living state). As this a common law rule, it is objective law (ask any good libertarian – they’ll tell you!) And why anyone would want meddling, activist judges to interfere with the majestic wisdom of the common law as laid down by centuries of traditional wisdom is, quite frankly, beyond me.

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  14. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    “Eugenics anyone?”

    Not before the sun passes the yard-arm, thanks.

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  15. Scott (1,765 comments) says:

    “All the Court of Appeal did was uphold the existing, long standing common law rule that a fetus is not regarded as “a person” with all the legal rights of such until she/he is “born alive” (i.e. fully emerges from its mother’s body in a living state). As this a common law rule, it is objective law (ask any good libertarian – they’ll tell you!) And why anyone would want meddling, activist judges to interfere with the majestic wisdom of the common law as laid down by centuries of traditional wisdom is, quite frankly, beyond me”.

    So you mean to tell me that for centuries the unborn baby was not a person? Please don’t insult my intelligence. Just don’t talk rubbish on this blog! Why has abortion not been legal then until recently? It is not the majestic wisdom of the common law. It is the narrow opinion of godless liberal judges, actively telling us that a baby in the womb is not a person and has no legal rights whatsoever.

    Look — the unborn child is not a person. It has no rights. A person who punches a pregnant woman in the stomach and the baby dies. That baby is not a person. There is no protection under the law. The mother has no recourse. Sure the perpetrator can be charged with assault of a woman. But that’s all. There is no murder or manslaughter here, according to this law. Basically there is a class of persons who has no protection under the law.

    This is a hideous radical ruling and we should all be appalled.

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  16. MrTips (94 comments) says:

    So, now anyone in this position (http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/146759/law-around-killing-unborn-babies-be-looked) has a chance for appeal or legal justification for getting off or not even being charged?

    This is a total mockery of common sense and current law – if unborn children have no right to life, then why the provisions in section 158, 159 etc?

    It should also be noted the vote was majority, not unanimous. At least one judge in the High Court could see something strange in the logic.

    As Ronald Reagan rightly quipped, “Those in favour of abortion have always had the privilege and safety of being born”.

    Of course the pro-abortionists at ALRANZ and around the traps will be the only ones who “understand” the strange logic of this decision.

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  17. dime (9,791 comments) says:

    Abortion is Green

    *waits for the staunch anti-abortion brigade (99% dudes)

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  18. AlphaKiwi (682 comments) says:

    @ dime Along with sodomy! :) Dude, we should set up a “Get Doug Stanhope to New Zealand” Facebook page.

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  19. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    Scott,

    Here’s a hint – go read the actual ruling instead of foaming at the fingers: http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/from/decisions/judgments.html

    The common law position was and is that the fetus is not a full person until birth. (See also the Crimes Act 1961, s.159(1): “A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded in a living state from the body of its mother, whether it has breathed or not, whether it has an independent circulation or not, and whether the navel string is severed or not.”) However, the law gives some limited protections to the fetus – such as the Crimes Act 1961, s.182 (http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM329352.html?search=ts_act_crimes+act_resel&p=1#DLM329352).

    Hence – a fetus is NOT (and never has been under common law or statute law) a full person. But it has some very limited rights under the Crimes Act 1961.

    “This is a hideous radical ruling and we should all be appalled.”

    No it ain’t. It says what the law has always said. If you have a problem with what the law says, lobby Parliament and get it changed. That’s how things work.

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  20. Seán (397 comments) says:

    DPF said: “It’s that second paragraph which is more significant.”

    Of course the earlier part that stated “..that unborn children do not have a right to life.” is of course not significant at all.
    Nice.

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  21. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    “It should also be noted the vote was majority, not unanimous. At least one judge in the High Court could see something strange in the logic.”

    On the point whether the fetus has a “right to life”, the Court WAS unanimous … Arnold J differed on the question of whether the Committee correctly was discharging its duties.

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  22. yesjg (43 comments) says:

    Should have posted this here, sorry.

    # yesjg (16) Says:
    June 2nd, 2011 at 10:59 am

    nasska (658) Says:
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:57 am

    …”The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court judge’s ruling that unborn children do not have a right to life.”…

    So following this logic anyone could punch a pregnant woman in the stomach to deliberately kill the unborn child and the only thing that they could be charged with is assaulting the female. To me this doesn’t seem to be either logical or morally acceptable but then we are taking about the law.

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  23. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    “So following this logic anyone could punch a pregnant woman in the stomach to deliberately kill the unborn child and the only thing that they could be charged with is assaulting the female.”

    No. See the Crimes Act 1961, s.182.

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  24. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ Alphakiwi, Scott, SMTTC

    Limbo was never a Church doctrine. It was a concept that was often taught as true by poorly trained clergy, and believed by Catholics (and repeated in TV and movies/pop-culture) who were, and probably still are, poorly educated theologically. It’s always good for a giggle though – ‘gee-those-Catholics-believe-some-funny-things’.

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  25. Mark (1,471 comments) says:

    This is a hugely disturbing judgement on so many levels. Despite the fact that it effectively rewrites NZ law and enshrines abortion on demand. Abortion numbers in NZ are catastrophic. In 2008 there were 18,380 abortions in NZ and 64,340 live births.

    As it is commented upon previously a woman 8 months pregnant can be assaulted, loose her baby and the offender faces assault charges only. To the woman this would be her baby, born or unborn and devastation would be the same 1 month before or after the birth of that baby yet the law our appeal court judges will determined on our behalf that the unborn child did not have the right to live and therefore there is no greater consequence to the assualt than a punch thrown at a woman who did not lose her child.

    Yes I find the Appeal Court ruling hugely disturbing, a great victory for womens rights in NZ.

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  26. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    East Wellington Superhero,

    So … aborted babies … heaven or hell? If heaven, then aren’t the mums doing them a favour (given that otherwise they’d likely grow up non-Catholic and so end up in hell). If hell, then isn’t God a bit of a prick?

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  27. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    I don’t understand how some people bend over backwards and devote so much energy in the defence of ‘rights’ – such as the right of a man to put his genitals inside the orifice normally used for storing human faeces – but when it comes to an unborn human’s right to life, they can’t even handle open debate.

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  28. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ AG,

    If you actually care, am happy to explain. But I think you’re just taking the mick.

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  29. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    “As it is commented upon previously a woman 8 months pregnant can be assaulted, loose her baby and the offender faces assault charges only. ”

    People can comment this as much as they want, but it still don’t make it true.

    Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182.

    Maybe that will sink in.

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  30. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    EWS,

    No – don’t bother. I don’t care.

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  31. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ AG
    I know you don’t care.

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  32. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @Mark

    “a great victory for women’s rights in NZ” I know you were being sarcastic.

    This is the problem. Abortion on tap does not progress women’s right. It might allow some women to look like they’re heroes fighting the good feminist fight, and allow some women to gain certain freedoms. However, by-and-large, it demeans most women and it leaves men unaccountable.

    The wealthy white liberal females succeed, leaving poorer classes of women to deal with the realities of fatherlessness and very little male responsibility in NZ.

    Oh, and the trendy white male liberals get to pretend they’re cool and hip ‘hey man, I’m down with women’s rights’. But ultimately these are men who don’t want to be responsible for their community. They are males, but I wonder if they’re men.

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  33. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    So … the only way to make women truly free is force them to have a child they do not want to have in the hope that the father of the child magically comes to accept that he has a moral duty to stand by her and share in its care?

    I know! Let’s have a system whereby those who believe such things can lobby a group of persons chosen by the people at large, convince them of the rightness of their argument and then have that chosen group change the law to reflect that argument (subject to the later judgment of the people at large). Wouldn’t something like that be really, really neato to have?

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  34. TEO (33 comments) says:

    Very disturbing. Incredibly sad.

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  35. dime (9,791 comments) says:

    Alpha – hell yes! Doug is the best going around. On par with Bill Hicks

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  36. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    AG said…
    common law position

    Wow! Common law does have something to say about the rights or no rights of the fetus, but actually doesn’t have anything to say about property rights. Great! So now I see, that you must be a brilliant lawyer (by profession).

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  37. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    FF,

    So – you’re happy with the Court ruling? Excellent.

    Now – get back over to the thread on the Wellywood sign. You’ve got some unfinished business there, you coward.

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  38. Ed Snack (1,838 comments) says:

    How on earth then can we sustain charges and convictions then for killing an unborn baby. Surely all such convictions must now be vacated. Midwives should be happy too, they should be clear from charges on the death of any child prior to it being born, they will of course be liable for injuries to the mother, but not to the fetus as it is not yet a person.

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  39. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    “How on earth then can we sustain charges and convictions then for killing an unborn baby.”

    Sigh.

    Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182. Crimes Act 1961, s.182.

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  40. RRM (9,783 comments) says:

    A large number of women are psychopaths. They gleefully arrange the abortion of their unborn babies and they can do it over and over again with no qualms whatsoever.

    New laws based on excerpts from the bible would fix this problem.

    There, I’ve said it so that the christian bloc doesn’t have to!
    It is, of course, utter BS, but that does not stop them from saying it ad nauseam…

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  41. georgebolwing (769 comments) says:

    Excuse a long quote, but this extract from the famous US Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade outlines the Court’s view on the common law principles:

    “It is undisputed that, at common law, abortion performed before “quickening” — the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero, appearing usually from the 16th to the 18th week of pregnancy was not an indictable offense. The absence of a common law crime for pre-quickening abortion appears to have developed from a confluence of earlier philosophical, theological, and civil and canon law concepts of when life begins. These disciplines variously approached the question in terms of the point at which the embryo or fetus became “formed” or recognizably human, or in terms of when a “person” came into being, that is, infused with a “soul” or “animated.” A loose consensus evolved in early English law that these events occurred at some point between conception and live birth. This was “mediate animation.” Although Christian theology and the canon law came to fix the point of animation at 40 days for a male and 80 days for a female, a view that persisted until the 19th century, there was otherwise little agreement about the precise time of formation or animation. There was agreement, however, that, prior to this point, the fetus was to be regarded as part of the mother, and its destruction, therefore, was not homicide. Due to continued uncertainty about the precise time when animation occurred, to the lack of any empirical basis for the 40-80-day view, and perhaps to Aquinas’ definition of movement as one of the two first principles of life, Bracton focused upon quickening as the critical point. The significance of quickening was echoed by later common law scholars, and found its way into the received common law in this country.”

    The full judgement can be found at:

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/410/113/case.html#T21

    The common law no longer applies in New Zealand, having been repealed by the Crimes Act provisions. But the fact remains that at common law, pre-quickening abortion was not a crime.

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  42. DJS (2 comments) says:

    I’m Pro-me that means I had a right to be born and it’s wasn’t my Mother’s decision or right to take my life away, even if she hadn’t yet delivered me into this world.
    Scientific facts prove that I had my own unique DNA etc at conception. This DNA and genome will never be repeated!!!!
    My only chance to life even at the point of conception. So yes everyone does have the right to make a comment!!!! Its a crime to sit back and watch someone drown or die when you have a choice to save a life.

    Very sadly and obviously some are still living in the dark ages and aren’t aware of latest technology with 3D ultrasounds and scientific facts that prove that Human life starts at conception.
    So PLEASE listen up. Scientific facts have proven that an unborn Baby???s Hearts starts to beat about 23 days after conception, see http://www.amnionet.com/p47.htm for more info. With the baby’s heart beginning to beat at about 23 days after conception, (just over 3 weeks) most women don’t even know they are pregnant by this stage.
    This means abortions stop a human heart. That’s surely murder.
    It’s also rightfully against NZ law.
    See NZ Crimes act 1961 part8- crimes against the person abortion 182. Killing unborn child-(1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years who causes the death of any child that has not become a human being in such a manner that he would have been guilty of murder if the child had become a human being.
    To make things much worst about 95% of abortions are performed from 8wks onwards. Its very sad when you take a look at a 3D scan of an unborn child even before 8 weeks and you can see they are totally and clearly formed and then to know 95 percent of abortions are carried out after 8 weeks.
    It’s really no wonder why the ultrasound screens are turned away and the women are NOT allowed to see their precious unborn baby.
    Anyway you can argue all you want about philosophic theory, religious faith beliefs etc etc.. but scientific facts of human development are very clear that the beginning of human life is at conception, human life is created and the unborn at conception has its own unique DNA etc.
    Sorry this is a fact and is not debatable, not questioned. It is actually a universally accepted scientific fact.
    And how about the concerns for the women carrying the unborn child, if they abort their Breast cancer risks have been proven to sky-rocket. See the following for definitive studies and references. http://www.abortionfacts.com/online_books/love_them_both/why_cant_we_love_them_both_23.asp
    So if you have an unplanned pregnancy it’s against the law to abort. So if you use your freedom of choice for pleasure you can’t just kill the baby because you don’t want it.
    Yet there are hundreds of people who want your baby, those that are on massive adoption waiting lists, why not let them welcome a Child into their family? and why not keep that baby’s heart beating?

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  43. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    I’ll say the same thing I do every time this comes up: just over 50% of all the conceptions that ever happen are spontaneously aborted within the first days, often without the woman even knowing she was pregnant. This massively outnumbers human-initiated abortions. And yet when I mention this, none of the anti-choice religous nuts has ever piped up and said “oh no that’s terrible, is there anything we can do to prevent this death of 50% of unborn children! Won’t someone please think of the unborn children!”. They just shrug it off as somehow unimportant ( and oddly never think it a little odd of their all-wise, all-loving god to perpetrate this mass murder). But the death of a blob of cells assumes vital importance when there is a chance to prevent a woman from having control over her own body. Go figure…

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  44. Ed Snack (1,838 comments) says:

    AG, but the Appeals Court decision effectively nullifies all that, or at least opens it to question. There are fundamental parts of our law that are in conflict. If an unborn child has “no right to life” then on what basis can it be held a crime to kill such. Offense against the Mother, yes, but against a “thing” with no right to life ?

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  45. nasska (11,175 comments) says:

    Only 42 responses in three hours. Yahweh upstairs will be very disappointed in his followers efforts today.

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  46. annie (539 comments) says:

    In my opinion we do have abortion on demand. I’ve been involved in cases, have sat in on a few counselling sessions, and often have failed to see any formal consideration of psychological state. Furthermore, I’ve seen a lack of genuine counselling of women who are presenting requesting termination, not even to point out to them that they need to make a decision between the three alternatives – adoption, termination, or keeping the baby. Most importantly, they need to be comfortable that they can look back on their decision in future and be confident they made the best decision for the situation they were in at the time.

    I’m not anti-abortion but I do think a panicked young woman needs to be encouraged to take enough time to consider the options and then make a robust decision that won’t lead to regret in the future, whatever that decision is.

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  47. DJP6-25 (1,362 comments) says:

    Scott 10:56 am. You’re right.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  48. Raging Glory (45 comments) says:

    Lawbreakers making rules.

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  49. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    Ed,

    No it doesn’t.

    The C. of A. was asked to recognise that the fetus is a person with the right to life under the Bill of Rights Act 1990, so that this legislation could be used to narrowly interpret the abortion laws in a way that protects that right. The C. of A., in keeping with the common law position, said that the fetus has no such right, therefore there was no need to read the abortion laws in the way they were asked to.

    Parliament has said (in the Crimes Act 1961, s. 182) that “Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years who causes the death of any child that has not become a human being in such a manner that he would have been guilty of murder if the child had become a human being.” That criminal offence is not touched in any way by the finding that the fetus is not a “person” with a “right to life”.

    Different legal questions – different legal answers.

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  50. kowtow (8,184 comments) says:

    Scott, very disturbing. No wonder this country is at the bottom of so many OECD stats.All rights and no responsibilities backed up by an activist judiciary and a gaggle of arsehole progressives. (see the usual suspects above).

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  51. grumpyoldhori (2,361 comments) says:

    Bloody fool xtians, if abortion is banned in NZ there is nothing to stop a woman from heading overseas to have it done.
    Oh, you xtians will want all women of child bearing age checked each month to see if they are pregnant, how brave are you feeling ?

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  52. peterwn (3,239 comments) says:

    It is a safe bet that it will go to the Supreme Court and anything could happen there – but it will be the last word short of legislation.

    The whole reason this has been taken to court is the anti-abortion groups have given up on lobbying for law reform. They will succeed in persuading a supportive MP to promote a private members bill now and again, and such a bill may be balloted once each few decades. Parties will either require their MP’s not to support it or allow a conscience vote.

    Similarly it is too much of a hot potato for any liberalisation to be proposed.

    Hence everyone has to work within the law as it now stands, and if anyone wants to tweak it, the only feasible way is to try and seek a favourable interpretation from the courts, as is currently happening.

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  53. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    “All rights and no responsibilities backed up by an activist judiciary and a gaggle of arsehole progressives.”

    Whilst I probably am an “arsehole progressive”, you do need to confront the fact that in this case the Court of Appeal simply applied the existing common law position and failed to “actively” redefine the legal rights of the fetus as it was asked to do by those seeking to limit abortions. In other words, it was the ANTI-abortion side that wanted the judges to be “activists” and the PRO-abortion side that wanted the legal status quo to remain.

    Sorry if that messes with your worldview and all – but ain’t objective reality as conferred upon us by the Universe a bitch?

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  54. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    182Killing unborn child
    (1)
    Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years who causes the death of any child that has not become a human being in such a manner that he would have been guilty of murder if the child had become a human being.
    (2)
    No one is guilty of any crime who before or during the birth of any child causes its death by means employed in good faith for the preservation of the life of the mother.

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  55. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    In R v Henderson [1990] 3 NZLR 174; (1990) 6 CRNZ 137 (CA) the Court declined to hold that s 182(1) prohibited only the killing of a child during the course of birth. The Court dismissed the appeal of H, who had caused the death of a foetus of an estimated maturity of approximately 26 weeks.
    Following Henderson, it must be accepted that s 182 applies to the killing of at least some foetuses prior to the commencement of birth, as well as to foetuses which are in the course of being born (but not yet fully born).

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  56. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    In R v Henderson [1990] 3 NZLR 174; (1990) 6 CRNZ 137 (CA), the Court did not indicate at what stage, prior to 26 weeks, a foetus becomes a child for the purpose of s 182. In delivering the judgment of the Court, p 179, Somers J noted that there was some discussion in Adams (2nd ed) para 1362, about the time at which a foetus becomes a child, but said “we would need much more extensive argument before giving any final answer to that question”. The judgment continued:

    “The foetus in this case was of about 26 weeks’ gestation. It was therefore well past the 20 weeks’ gestation period referred to in s 187A(3) Crimes Act set out below. We are of the opinion that the ordinary and natural meaning of the word ‘child’ is such as to include the foetus in the present case. Further than that it is neither necessary nor desirable to go in this case.”
    As the Court of Appeal expressly declined to indicate the time at which a foetus becomes a child, for the purpose of s 182, there is still some point in taking account of the comments of Richmond P in the Court of Appeal in R v Woolnough [1977] 2 NZLR 508, at p 516 and the summing up of Roper J in the High Court in Henderson.
    In Woolnough the Solicitor-General had submitted that for the purpose of s 182 a “child” includes all embryos from the time of conception. In his judgment in the Court of Appeal, Richmond P said that s 182 had no application to abortions carried out in the first trimester of pregnancy, but he did not indicate at what later stage of pregnancy a foetus was to be regarded as a child, for the purpose of s 182. However, he implied that this would be in the late stages of pregnancy (p 516-517).
    In his summing up in the trial of R v Henderson 8/12/89, HC Timaru 5/89 Roper J directed the jury that “an embryo or a foetus at an early stage of pregnancy does not qualify as an unborn child”. He directed the jury that they must be satisfied that Henderson killed a child that at that time was capable of being born alive, if they were to find him guilty of causing the death of an unborn child. (The equivalent provision in English law, s 1(1) Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929, contains a reference to “a child capable of being born alive”, and in that context children have been regarded as being capable of being born alive once they are capable of breathing: Rance v Mid-Downs Health Authority [1991] 2 WLR 159).
    Roper J’s direction did not receive the approval of the Court of Appeal in Henderson. The Court said “there is no need to impose a test of capability of birth and no onus on the Crown to prove that the child was capable of being born alive”: p 183. However, given the Court’s statement that they would require much more extensive argument before giving any final answer to the question of when a foetus becomes a child for the purpose of s 182, Henderson should not preclude some future Court from holding that a foetus becomes a child, for the purpose of s 182, when it reaches the stage of viability. One of the advantages of such an approach is that it would minimise any potential conflict between the grounds for abortion specified in s 187A, and the more limited scope of s 182(2), see CA182.05.

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  57. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    Apologies for the long quote. Hopefully it adds to clarifying the debate.

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  58. Scott (1,765 comments) says:

    Christopher thanks for the quotes. If I could trouble you to explain them would be great as us nonlegal types find it all a bit hard to decipher. I think the guts of it is that after 20 weeks the fetus has some standing as a person of some consequence? Is that right?

    Now our Court of Appeal in their wisdom has said that unborn children have no rights. So they have overridden the previous rulings?

    I just find it amazing that we can be happy with a judiciary that decides unborn children have no rights. Presumably an unborn child has no right to medical treatment either? Why should we spend our taxpayer dollars trying to treat something that is not a person? Surely it is not an animal either? So we can’t even go to the vet?

    Despite what AG (does AG stands for “against God “or “Another Godless” Liberal) says about the crimes act, if the unborn child has no status then no one can be tried for killing that child. Surely? So the assault on the mother, the punch in the stomach, the killing of the unborn child, is surely only an assault charge? Not murder or manslaughter as it rightfully should be.

    Also all you godless liberals — are you honestly happy with this? You honestly believe that pregnant woman is carrying something with no legal standing whatsoever? That is your honest view? Before God — whom I know you don’t believe in?

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  59. tristanb (1,126 comments) says:

    Look what happens when women don’t get abortions: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/child-abuse/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=146

    I think one of the reasons Maori have such high abuse rates, is that they have fewer qualms about having an unwanted child. The whanau comes around and tells them that it’s all alright (which it isn’t). Some Asian groups on the other hand would get abortions straight way so their parents don’t know that they’re having sex.

    Who’s doing better?

    We need to encourage silly couples who get pregnant to get abortions – it’s better for them, and for society as a whole. It’s safe and easy to do, and the only thing being destroyed are a few cells. (albeit vaguely resembling a person, but more like some gilled fish thing).

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  60. LabourDoesntWork (287 comments) says:

    “The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.”
    – C. S. Lewis

    Well, abortion mills ARE pretty sordid. The black-robes strike again.

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  61. smttc (731 comments) says:

    Scott, there is no contradiction between proclaiming that an unborn child has no right to life and criminalising the intentional act of killing an unborn child which would have been murder if the child were a human being.

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  62. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    Scott,

    Before God – whom I don’t believe in – I can say … Crimes Act 1961, s.182. As Christopher has posted, there is a legal charge that applies to killing an unborn child. It also is the case that the unborn child does not have (and never has had) the full right to life that a born child does. These are not mutually inconsistent facts.

    Look … you don’t get the legal complexities of this. Which is OK. But just accept you don’t get it and stop making the same wrong point over and over again.

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  63. georgebolwing (769 comments) says:

    Yes Scott, I am happy with a legal system that says that abortion is legal and safe, because history shows us that making abortion illegal will mean that it will continue, but will be unsafe.

    As I said many hours ago, the policy should be that abortion is safe, legal and rare and that the rare bit will come about through a sensible policy to sex education and reminding people that we no longer live in the dark ages and having sex no longer needs to lead to pregnancy.

    While not having sex is one way to avoid pregnancy, there are others. And since having sex is part of our genetic make-up, I think we should acknowledge the reality that as long as there are people, there will be sex, as long as there is sex there will be unwanted pregnancies and as long as there are unwanted pregnancies, there will be abortions.

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  64. Scott (1,765 comments) says:

    “Crimes Act 1961, s.182. As Christopher has posted, there is a legal charge that applies to killing an unborn child. It also is the case that the unborn child does not have (and never has had) the full right to life that a born child does. These are not mutually inconsistent facts.”

    AG — I appreciate I am not a legal mind but these do seem to be mutually inconsistent facts. The first one is there is a legal charge that applies to killing an unborn child. So presumably the unborn child (your words) has some legal standing and legal rights?

    But the appeals court of New Zealand in their wisdom have said that the unborn child has no right to life.

    Even a godless Liberal can see there is a contradiction there — surely? If there is no right to life, what is to stop the unborn child being killed? And why should there be a charge that applies to killing an unborn child? They are not a person. They have no right to life.

    I think there is a big contradiction here. I think AG you are deliberately fudging the truth. Tell me where I am going wrong?

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  65. Rufus (652 comments) says:

    @grumpyolddick, put-it-away et al

    Ever considered that not all those against abortion-on-demand are Christians? Easy to paint them as such and then make fun of all those weird Christians again. Shifts the argument.

    Put-it-away – how do you argue your case against someone who doesn’t believe in God, and still believes abortion = murder? Your trite little argument above proves nothing.

    @ georgebowling – 3:16
    You assert “the policy should be that abortion is safe, legal and rare and that the rare bit will come about through a sensible policy to sex education”

    Pray, tell me: what is a “sensible policy to sex education”? I suggest that the policies of the last 20-30 odd years are failed policies. The current one isn’t working either. There are still lots and lots and lots of abortions.

    Also – “And since having sex is part of our genetic make-up, I think we should acknowledge the reality that as long as there are people, there will be sex, as long as there is sex there will be unwanted pregnancies” etc.

    So we have to have sex, because that’s part of our genetic make-up? Why don’t you have sex with everyone then? With your neighbour? With the guy on street? With your sister?

    If you suggest sex is necessary for survival of the species, I agree. (Note I do not claim that’s all sex is for.)

    But wouldn’t you agree that we have a choice with whom we have sex?

    If we have a choice, then we have a responsibility.

    If we take that responsibility seriously, we might not have so many unwanted pregnancies.

    Abortion would then be very rare.

    So one very sensible way to reduce the rate of abortion would be to take personal responsibility for our own choices and actions.

    Radical, I know.

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  66. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    lets put it all into perspective.
    300 classrooms of kids every year killed.
    Why?
    Because they are not convenient to selfish women (not incl the very very small % of raped).
    How many David Farrar, Ernest Rutherfords were they, that we as a nation have lost?
    We are a damaged society in many ways but to kill our preborn infants like this shows a very sick group of people.

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  67. Ryan Sproull (7,095 comments) says:

    How many David Farrar, Ernest Rutherfords were they, that we as a nation have lost?

    On the other hand, we might have dodged a few Paul Henrys.

    I’d be wary of arguing for a right to life based on lifetime-achievement merits.

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  68. georgebolwing (769 comments) says:

    My idea of a sensible sex education policy is the following:

    a) demystify sex. From as early they can sensibly understand it, children should be helped to understand the basics of procreation.

    b) deguilt sex. Sex is a natural part of life and isn’t something that anyone should be ashamed of having.

    c) delink sex from procreation. Effective contreception should be available to anyone who is sexually active and “effective” includes training in its use.

    And by the way, I am not suggesting that it is approproate for everyone to have lots of random sex all the time. I am simply saying that we know from our experiences of life that the sex urge is strong and to act as if everyone can or should remain a virgin until their wedding day and then should only have sex for the express purposes of procreation, meaning that there if be no unwanted pregnancies is stuff stupid.

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  69. Ryan Sproull (7,095 comments) says:

    Bloody fool xtians, if abortion is banned in NZ there is nothing to stop a woman from heading overseas to have it done.

    Except for passport, airfares, etc.

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  70. tristanb (1,126 comments) says:

    Scott:Even a godless Liberal…

    We are all godless, even you. God doesn’t exist. There are godless liberals and godless conservatives.

    You’re a godless Christian.

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  71. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    “The first one is there is a legal charge that applies to killing an unborn child. So presumably the unborn child (your words) has some legal standing and legal rights?”

    Yes – the unborn child has a legal right not to be killed in circumstances where, if it were born, would be murder. Unless the child is killed with the consent of the mother through the statutory process allowing for abortion. Which is to be interpreted and applied without having to take into account any fetal “right to life”.

    There’s no contradiction between saying an unborn child can’t be killed in some ways, but it has no general right to life. By analogy (and WITHOUT saying a fetus is just an animal), it is unlawful to kill a dog by setting it on fire, but that doesn’t mean a dog has a right to life.

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  72. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    AG said…
    You’ve got some unfinished business there, you coward.

    Tick Tock.

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  73. Lucia Maria (2,278 comments) says:

    # Put it away (1,884) Says:
    June 2nd, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I’ll say the same thing I do every time this comes up: just over 50% of all the conceptions that ever happen are spontaneously aborted within the first days, often without the woman even knowing she was pregnant. This massively outnumbers human-initiated abortions. And yet when I mention this, none of the anti-choice religous nuts has ever piped up and said “oh no that’s terrible, is there anything we can do to prevent this death of 50% of unborn children! Won’t someone please think of the unborn children!”. They just shrug it off as somehow unimportant ( and oddly never think it a little odd of their all-wise, all-loving god to perpetrate this mass murder). But the death of a blob of cells assumes vital importance when there is a chance to prevent a woman from having control over her own body. Go figure…

    That’s on par with the “every sperm is sacred” argument, if you could call it an argument; because it’s silly. But if I were to humour you with this one, consider the following:

    One hundred percent of human lives end in death, so why do we get so upset when someone is murdered?

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  74. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Falafulu Fisi 5:19 pm

    I think that comment has just proved that you really are a Fellafulla Faeces – full of shit.

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  75. Dazzaman (1,138 comments) says:

    Hey Scott, I agree, it’s very disturbing. This kind of ruling puts even a viable baby at the level of a lab rat!

    At least we can find some solace in the fact that the vast majority of hospital staff & delivery teams pull out every stop to care for & save even marginal babies still. They obviously see that these kiddies have a “right to life”…….courts & judges don’t change that fact.

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  76. Bevan (3,923 comments) says:

    I think that comment has just proved that you really are a Fellafulla Faeces – full of shit

    Wow. I wonder what you’d make of the old Fulla-fell-off-the-sofa jokes… scream racial prejudice no doubt.

    You’re bordering on racial discrimination toad – its still not OK when your a Green.

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  77. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Toad said…
    Fellafulla Faeces

    No Toad, the meaning of that is called Fakafaihoosi. Its even worse than Fellafulla Faeces. True.

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  78. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Dazzaman 5:29 pm

    I think it is a great and well reasoned judgment. Well done, the Court of Appeal.

    The Court unanimously held that the law does not recognise or confer a right to life on the unborn child [i.e an embryo or foetus]. Nor had Miller J erred in finding the Committee had properly discharged its function with respect to counselling services

    … The decisions of certifying consultants involved medical judgment alone.

    The majority quashed Justice Miller’s findings about the lawfulness of abortions.

    My question is whether RIGHT TO LIFE NEW ZEALAND INC will now change their name back to SPUCWITS INC, given their defeat in the Court of Appeal?

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  79. lofty (1,310 comments) says:

    For what it’s worth stick me in the non christian PROLIFE basket.

    I will run with my gut feeling and lifes lessons thanks.

    Antilifers.. I feel sorry for you, but you are OK eh! You are here to pass judgement….I mean, after all no one aborted you did they..wankers!

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  80. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi

    Go finish your pending jobs, then come back to comment.

    Incidentally, I’m not bothered if people unpick my carefully disguised nom-de-web. I just like being able to let rip without it showing up on google searches.

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  81. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Falafulu Fisi 5:39 pm

    Yes, I recall you using that word some years ago re Kris Faafoi. Not very pleasant imo!

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  82. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    I’ll say the same thing I do every time this comes up: just over 50% of all the conceptions that ever happen are spontaneously aborted within the first days, often without the woman even knowing she was pregnant.

    Yes, and we also know that the vast majority of abortions result in the termination of a life that would otherwise be lived.
    Your (now famous) line is no more logical now than when you first uttered it, but I can tell it makes you feel important and smart, so good for you.

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  83. Dazzaman (1,138 comments) says:

    Good for you…..I don’t. A procedure where a baby has to endure chemical burning/chopping off limbs & heads/other ghoulish death methods is not something to gloat over toad.

    My question is whether RIGHT TO LIFE NEW ZEALAND INC will now change their name back to SPUCWITS INC, given their defeat in the Court of Appeal?

    Dunno, not a member….ring them up & ask.

    One thing I will say, knowing their views are the same as mine, they will never give up.

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  84. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    This ruling is a blatant lie.
    Scrubbing the words doesn’t make them less true, so why do it? to give warm tummies?

    That the pro abortionists support this is more evidence that reveals them to be fundamentally dishonest and selfish people, which is really what this is all about.

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  85. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @lofty5:48 pm

    Antilifers.. I feel sorry for you, but you are OK eh! You are here to pass judgement

    Hey, I didn’t. Our Court of Appeal did. Ruled you were wrong in law.

    @Shunda barunda 5:58 pm

    That the pro abortionists support this is more evidence that reveals them to be fundamentally dishonest and selfish people, which is really what this is all about.

    So you want kids to grow up in families that didn’t wanted them or didn’t consider themselves capable of caring for them, and the kids are consequently neglected and/or abused?

    Not me! I’m no grat fan of abortion – I consider it is the worst form of family planning. But I also consider it is a better option than kids being neglected or abuse by parents who either don’t want them or cannot cope with parenthood.

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  86. lofty (1,310 comments) says:

    Yes Shunda, that sums them up nicely, after all they are OK Jack!
    Toad I can understand after all there are far too many people already eh toad?
    Thank goodness you are one of the privileged ALIVE one s though eh toad, Abort more = less humans too fuck over gaia.

    Hypocrites.

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  87. Johnboy (15,903 comments) says:

    Better a future child is aborted than it grow up to become a Greenie surely? :)

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  88. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Toad said…
    Not very pleasant imo!

    Toad, my European friends started calling me Falafulu Fisi, some years ago, because they think all Island names sound exactly as you’ve stated above in your post. They never meant it as a derogatory but more like sarcasm. It is true and I won’t deny it, that Island names do sound odd, unfamiliar, even sound like swear words (well to English speaking people anyway). It was not some name that I invented myself. Anyway, I know you’re nice dude, but we differ on political beliefs. I’m not offended by the label you have just posted above. I like it. When I go out to bars in Auckland, I even introduce my name as Falafulu Fisi to people that I meet, just to see if they pick it up. In some occasions, people, picked it up that Falafulu is not my real name, then finally I introduced my real name afterwards.

    AG said…
    Go finish your pending jobs, then come back to comment.

    I’m done for the day. Time to go & get wasted tonight (in bars along Ponsonby Rd). If you see an Islander that you suspect that it is me (Falafulu), just say hi (provided that I’m that guy). I may buy you a drink & a chat, if you’re a female. If you’re a male, then we can debate politics (not on law topics, since it is not my area of expertise which I believe that it is your domain).

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  89. Lucia Maria (2,278 comments) says:

    But I also consider it is a better option than kids being neglected or abuse by parents who either don’t want them or cannot cope with parenthood.

    There is another option – adoption. There are more and more couples today that cannot have children because they’ve waited too long, and yet there are very few babies up for adoption and too many being murdered in our public hospitals. Yet how many of those women are given the option to adopt their baby? Very few. It’s almost as if the mentality here is that a child is better off dead if they don’t grow up with their birth parents, the extreme of which can be shown when a parent commits suicide and take their kids with them.

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  90. thedavincimode (6,620 comments) says:

    I think this is very hard stuff. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it.

    I also think that it has nothing to do with religion.

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  91. Johnboy (15,903 comments) says:

    Toad has no sense of humour Fala.

    Being a greenie is a very serious business. :)

    Thank God you are an obvious hard worker or you may have become Falafelloffa Sofa. :)

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  92. yesjg (43 comments) says:

    # tristanb (383) Says:
    June 2nd, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Scott:Even a godless Liberal…

    We are all godless, even you. God doesn’t exist. There are godless liberals and godless conservatives.

    You’re a godless Christian.

    Would you care to enlighten us on how you manage to be so certain about there being no God?

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  93. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Johnboy 6:49 pm

    Toad has no sense of humour Fala. Being a greenie is a very serious business.

    I thought we both acknowledged our mutual senses of humour a couple of evenings ago, Johnboy. On santorum.

    But you didn’t take up my invitation to meet in person!

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  94. Johnboy (15,903 comments) says:

    Practise your “Dirty Sanchez” routine this weekend at the conference and give me a call next week Toady. :)

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  95. questlove (242 comments) says:

    There is another option – adoption.

    Good idea, I’m sure there’s a lot of same sex couples wanting to adopt also.

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  96. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    why?

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  97. Lucia Maria (2,278 comments) says:

    questlove (157) Says:
    June 2nd, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    There is another option – adoption.

    Good idea, I’m sure there’s a lot of same sex couples wanting to adopt also.

    A baby is not a pet.

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  98. Rufus (652 comments) says:

    @ Georgebowling 4:17

    You’ve just described what they’ve been teaching kids for the last 30-40 yrs. It hasn’t worked. It isn’t working.

    So now what?

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  99. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Ah the Greens… they are like the ‘children with no responsibility’ of Parliament.

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  100. James (1,338 comments) says:

    A baby is not a pet.

    And a gay person is also a human being who can love and raise a child that a straight one may abandon…….your point was?

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  101. SPC (5,563 comments) says:

    The Court of Appeal simply noted the law as it stands in agreeing with the High Court Judge. It struck out the comments of the High Court Judge – as while pertinent to the topic they were not related to the legal issue before the court.

    I fail to see how banning abortions to provide a baby supply to infertile couples (older couples unable to afford a family while younger because of tertiary debt, high home prices, low wages etc?) is a viable longer term solution to the prevalence of unplanned pregnancies (something we could reduce by promotion of the MAP for those who had unplanned sex – we could even require those advertising alcohol fund a safe sex campaign, with as much emphasis on preventing pregnancy as std’s).

    What next cutting off the DPB to single parents and divorced women and forcing them to adopt their children out?

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  102. SPC (5,563 comments) says:

    PS I suspect the case will go to the Supreme Court – they have the authority to redefine law as it stands/show leadership.

    Right to life for the unborn child under the HRA is consistent with the killing of an unborn child (at any age during the term even during the period where legal abortions occur) in an act of violence against the mother being murder – however the issue is to what extent that right to protection of the life of the unborn child is connected to the right of the mother to carry the child to its birth if she chooses to. Especially when she is able to consent to having an abortion and this is not seen as an act of violence against the unborn child (because the mothers well-being is a factor). Right to life is not an absolute – police can kill lawfully, self-defence can include lawful killing and there are limits on the health budget (and welfare budgets) that result in avoidable countless deaths each year.

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  103. Raging Glory (45 comments) says:

    What I find hard to understand is environmentalists say we should not despoil and pollute the environment so that future generations don’t inherit a planet that is absolutely wrecked.
    So presumably future generations have rights. But the generation that exists right now, although unborn, has no rights at all. Something is wrong with this picture.
    I believe that in the future people will look back on the practice of abortion in the same way that we look on ancient cultures who performed human sacrifice.

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  104. Scott (1,765 comments) says:

    I just see a legal and moral minefield here. Morally in that the courts are defining who is a person? The court has decided that unborn children have no rights. I believe the court is playing God.

    One of the great advances of the Christian tradition of Western civilisation, of which New Zealand is a part, is that people are created in the image of God and have an inalienable Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is not something that a judge can take away. If we allow the judge to do this in this case, who can say where it will end? Perhaps young children who are born brain damaged — perhaps they have no right to life? What about old people when they become bedridden — perhaps they should have no rights?

    Even you godless liberals — if this decision by the Court of Appeal doesn’t give you pause and anxiety — you just don’t understand the situation.

    Legally it is a minefield. The unborn child is not a person and has no rights. Therefore it can be killed at the express wish of its mother. However what if the mother wanted to keep the child and was assaulted and the baby died? Now the unborn child is something of a person. There is a criminal charge against the perpetrator on behalf of the unborn child.

    This is nuts! The unborn child is a person when the mother says it is. So it has no value in itself, apart from the mother bestowing on it rights. Again even you legal eagles must see this is crazy.

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  105. questlove (242 comments) says:

    Now the unborn child is something of a person.

    No. Just because it’s unlawful to kill an unborn child in a certain way does not mean that that the unborn child has personhood.

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  106. Dazzaman (1,138 comments) says:

    Calm down Scott, it is heinous but we can rest assured that the hospital staff, mothers, fathers, churches, etc. do their utmost to save & nurture unborn babies.

    Regardless of the law, like many other laws, this ones reach is not a negative/negative in the sense that it inhibits us and others from continuing to regard and act with sincerity that unborn babies do indeed have a right to life. It’s not a crime to believe, or indeed act, that this is so…..all the groups I mentioned above do so every day.

    And while those of us who have the clearer sense of right and wrong on this issue wait, pray & work for commonsense to prevail, we can rest in the knowledge that thousands nay millions value their, and other peoples, unborn children too.

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  107. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “[DPF: i think there is a right to life when the foetus is viable outside the mother]”

    You mean the CHILD. Calling it a foetus may make you feel better about advocating the torture and mass murder of children, but its a lie.

    By the way, this statement means you would support fully grown babies being ripped apart and murdered solely becuase they are only minutes away from being born.

    Your a very sick man DPF, and a stain on the National Party. Take your baby murdering liberalism and move to the Labour Party where your clearly more suited.

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  108. Scott (1,765 comments) says:

    Appreciate your point Dazzaman. However when should we not be calm? When is something really serious?

    The Court of Appeal — a senior court in this land — has ruled that a certain class of people are not persons and have no legal standing. That is serious. There is a serious wrong.

    Indeed the post before you from quest love — states quite glibly — that does not mean the unborn child has personhood. So this poster — questing for love — seems to be quite comfortable that unborn child is not a person.

    Simply put — this is crazy. At eight months gestation — the baby is born early — it is a person with full protection and rights of the law. The doctor must do everything in his or her power to safeguard that baby’s health. But if the mother decides, the day before, she does not want that baby — my understanding is that with taxpayer funding — she will be put on a plane to Australia and given a late term abortion. So that baby has no rights before it is born. Same baby — in the womb no rights — outside the womb every right.

    So the judges are defining what is a person and what is not. It is not up to them. They are playing God. There are many lawless things lurking behind these glib judgements.

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  109. GJ (329 comments) says:

    With modern technology (Scans) how can anyone say that the child growing in the womb is not a living human being. Sadly today, in NZ, the womb is the most dangerous place a child can be in, it was never supposed to be that way.
    With over 18,000 abortions per year just how much future talent are we robbing NZ of? (Doctors, scientiests, Tradespeople etc)
    Everyone blogging here can be thankful they didn’t have to face the torture of abortion!
    The grounds for abortion was the mental health of the mother, however it is now very obvious that the mental health of the mother is greatly affected by having an abortion.
    This is a step a long way backwards for the advancement of NZ.

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  110. questlove (242 comments) says:

    But if the mother decides, the day before, she does not want that baby — my understanding is that with taxpayer funding — she will be put on a plane to Australia and given a late term abortion. So that baby has no rights before it is born. Same baby — in the womb no rights — outside the womb every right.

    Wow. Your “understanding” is way out of touch with really.

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  111. Dazzaman (1,138 comments) says:

    Well, questlove is a product of our whacked out liberal mainstream culture…..best to ignore.

    Scott, I’m not denying the utter seriousness of it and I also see your point that you are implying, i.e. euthanizing infants. I also know that “the heart of man is desperately wicked & deceitful above all things”, and that point (euthanizing infants) may come. I agree, the law is a crock, a bloody evil crock, however I don’t believe the fight is over. Not by a long shot.

    Yes Scott, it’s a matter of location for them…..also of a woman’s convenience. How sad and utterly sick that a woman, her medical advisors and society in general could reduce carrying a human baby (even at conception it will be nothing else but a human baby!) to little more than the equivalent of a long wait in a cue with a couple of bags of shopping……or whatever, pick your least favourite inconvenience.

    A partial birth abortion of a near term baby, with it’s brains getting sucked out while it’s body is outside, is a medical & moral nightmare akin to a horror flick or Mengele’s madman laboratory.

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  112. Raging Glory (45 comments) says:

    Abortionists are not interested in evidence – when they are confronted with evidence that an unborn child feels pain they simply close their eyes, stick their fingers in there ears and yell ‘nothing to see here’. DPF has no morals, that is obvious. His only morals are what is good for him and him alone. Frankly, i think both the national party and the labour party are totally corrupted by liberalism, a counterfeit and basically satanic philosophy. They only differ about economics. And what is economics, a psuedo science at best. A plague on all their houses.

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  113. Rufus (652 comments) says:

    I thought DPF’s statement a little odd too.

    [DPF: i think there is a right to life when the foetus is viable outside the mother]

    Even just-born-babies aren’t viable on their own. They need help, shelter, food, nurture. Hell, without a slap on the bum, a lot might not even start to breathe.

    So now it’s a question of defining “viable”, and determining the amount of care we give the baby fo fit within our moralistic framework.

    Que endless debates.

    Strange and rather arbitrary.

    I suggest we value all life, from conception to birth and beyond. This would give a far simpler framework to work with.

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  114. Rufus (652 comments) says:

    Also, I’m interested in why no-one is willing to accept that, as David pointed out, the mismatch between the current law and how it’s applied in practice.

    The law, as it stands, is clearly not being adhered to.

    David seems quite happy with the statsu quo, but I say it’s ridiculous.

    Either have the medical fraternity abide by the law, or acknowledge that they’re not.

    Then administer justice or be brave enough to change the law.

    Of course no one in the halls of power has the balls to:

    1. acknowledge the law as it stands isn’t being adhered to,
    2. acknowledge that we have in fact got “abortion on demand”, and
    3. do something about it.

    Now for most of us (like DPF) this is all philosophical fencing on keyboards.

    But for 18,000 kids each year, it’s torture and death.

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  115. GJ (329 comments) says:

    Rufus: Well said.

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  116. SPC (5,563 comments) says:

    Scott you wrote “One of the great advances of the Christian tradition of Western civilisation, of which New Zealand is a part, is that people are created in the image of God and have an inalienable Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” – you confuse a few things.

    1. No where does the American constitution declare itself to be of a Christian nation – it has no established religion.
    2. No where does the American constitution say that humans are created in the image of God.
    3. And as for the the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, this is also not in the American constitution itself – but the declaration of independence and thus has no legal status

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    The famous wording of the Declaration has often been invoked to protect the rights of individuals and marginalized groups, and has come to represent for many people a moral standard for which the United States should strive. This view greatly influenced Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy,[4] and who promoted the idea that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

    It was originally an argument in justification of their right to rebel. And ultimately for the case of progressive reform.

    However they allow death sentence in their law as constitutional (while some say it is punishment based, they also exercise summary killings without trial presumably on the grounds of self-defence). Their preference for excluding the poor from adequate health care to secure right to life is well-known.

    No where is New Zealand described as a Christian nation, our only connection to such is via the Crown that heads the state church of another country and the inheritance of some of its customs – such as parliamentary prayer.

    Law is not based on the Christian religion, and law, even constitutional law cannot be absolute because there are conflicting principles at play from time to time. Such as self-defence and limits on health care affordability.

    The primary point of the court case in raising the right to life for the unborn child was to not to establish an absolute position (such as that applied in some countries where the mothers health and or life is risked on the altar of the pro-life movement’s virtue) but to end abortion on demand and establish balance by only allowing them when there was a genuine risk to the health and or life of the mother – require the legal status quo to be upheld by the courts. That is ensure that only if there was a genuine “self-defence” balance to the defence of life, could they be allowed. The courts have to date upheld the status quo of the practice rather than the law, by merely saying that the HRA does not apply to the issue of the allowance of abortion (in defence of the mothers health and life), just as it would not to lawful euthanasia IF consent from a patient and partner/family was all that was required before medcial staff terminated a life.

    PS the Courts do not enforce the law.

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  117. SPC (5,563 comments) says:

    Rufus

    No one wants to take responsibility for the abortions that now occur by providing legal sanction to abortion on demand with their own conscience vote, nor do they want to force the women to take the unborn child to term or resort to illegal abortions (or go Irish and have them overseas).

    The politicos, the medical profession, the police and the public at large would prefer what we have to either option as well.

    My advice to those who want change is go the referendum route (before or after the Supreme Court) – if they cannot convince the public … .

    As for reducing the number of abortions – this requires less unplanned sex. That requires a public campaign as strong as anti-smoking and anti-drink driving. Those advertising alcohol should have to set an amount aside for the advertising budget for this campaign. The past campaign – safe sex (now less visible) focused overly much on people using condoms (hardly likely to be effective with drunk people and the risk of pregnancy is higher), people should be directed to consider Family Planning before they go out drinking at age 18+.

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  118. YT (3 comments) says:

    “Now for most of us (like DPF) this is all philosophical fencing on keyboards.”

    Yep, and most of you seem to be men.

    Until you’ve been faced with an unwanted pregnancy and had to make a decision about it, it’s all just philosophy to you. When it’s your body that’s being tossed about as a political football, maybe those of us who have faced this decision as a reality might be interested in what you have to say.

    Meanwhile, the law is fine as it is. Abortion on demand would be better.

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  119. Scott (1,765 comments) says:

    YT- sorry-just because you are a woman does not mean that your view trumps everyone else! Actually at least half the babies aborted are baby girls so you are not defending your sex very well.

    SPC- I have read your posts a number of times and just dont get your point. Now I am not a lawyer but heck-

    “the primary point of the court case in raising the right to life for the unborn child was to not to establish an absolute position (such as that applied in some countries where the mothers health and or life is risked on the altar of the pro-life movement’s virtue) but to end abortion on demand and establish balance by only allowing them when there was a genuine risk to the health and or life of the mother – require the legal status quo to be upheld by the courts. That is ensure that only if there was a genuine “self-defence” balance to the defence of life, could they be allowed. The courts have to date upheld the status quo of the practice rather than the law, by merely saying that the HRA does not apply to the issue of the allowance of abortion (in defence of the mothers health and life), just as it would not to lawful euthanasia IF consent from a patient and partner/family was all that was required before medcial staff terminated a life.”

    – This is hard to decipher!

    – The point about Christianity you are missing the wood for the trees. We have a christian tradition-it is the foundation of Western civilization and so our laws reflect the reasoning that all human life is important. So lets keep the big picture in mind shall we? The idea that our laws do not reflect our Christian tradition is absurd- sorry.

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  120. SPC (5,563 comments) says:

    Scott

    Yes I was speaking as to legal issue the Court of Appeal dealt with – right to life vs self-defence and informed medical procedure consent.

    Is Christianity really the foundation of western tradition – it certainly never advocated democracy, or freedom of religion or freedom of speech, or equality before the law.

    All nations have laws. And the differences between ours and that of non western nations – do not have their source in Christian advocacy for them.

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  121. DJS (2 comments) says:

    Let me quote Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke

    Biologic human life is defined by examining the scientific facts of human development. This is a field where there is no controversy, no disagreement. There is only one set of facts, only one embryology book is studied in medical school. The more scientific knowledge of fetal development that has been learned, the more science has confirmed that the beginning of any one human individual’s life, biologically speaking, begins at the completion of the union of his father’s sperm and his mother’s ovum, a process called “conception,” “fertilization” or “fecundation.” This is so be-cause this being, from fertilization, is alive, human, sexed, complete and growing.

    – The above is not a religious faith belief.

    – The above is not a philosophic theory.

    – The above is not debatable, not questioned. It is a universally accepted scientific fact.

    End quote

    Thats right, its a fact that everyone started their life at this point, at conception a new and unique individual is formed. All of the inherited features of this new person are already set, whether it’s a boy or girl, the color of the eyes, the color of the hair, the dimples of the cheeks and the cleft of the chin.

    The female and male cells no longer exist at conception, instead a new and unique never to be repeated genome and DNA is created. This is the start of human life, all that is required now is food, the baby does this by creating it own placenta whic it creates from its OWN dna.

    Human’s have a right to life no matter what stage of life they are at.

    SO how can anyway say that their mother had a right to kill them because of an unwanted pregnancy?????
    Did your Mother have right to destroy you? -come on people, you had a right to be born just as much as the unborn babies a live today have a right to continue to live.
    I would be happy to defend a pro-choice persons life if you were unborn today. I just wish the pro-choice’s would realise they have been brain washed into this culture of death by blinded, hard hearted and money hungry abortion workers.

    The choice always comes down to the choice between a ALIVE baby or a DEAD baby.

    Also the baby is NEVER unwanted there are HUNDREDS of people on ADoption waiting list’s that WANT your baby.
    You have a choice to aDopt. I know people on waiting list that are having to go overseas becaus ethey are sick of the huge waiting lists.

    Why not let that innocent little baby continue to live and make a couples dream come true by allowing them to aDopt your child.

    Then there is the HUGE risks of breast cancer. See following link for the truth about his connection, ever wondered why there are so many women with breast cancer!!!

    http://www.abortionfacts.com/breast_cancer_connection/breast_cancer_connection.asp

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  122. SPC (5,563 comments) says:

    That’s why I favour the MAP, quick post unplanned sex intervention, but prefer prevention of unplanned sex.

    Infertile couples should not need another woman to have an unplanned child to have children. They have so many other options.

    They have fertility treatment, a woman can store eggs before she ages if she lacks a partner, a younger couple can create frozen embryos while saving for a home – otherwise they can seek surrogates*** to carry a fertile husbands child for his partner or the wife can seek the sperm of her husbands near male relatives (thus breed her father-in laws grandchildren in the Onan way while Er her husband still lives if a little infertile).

    ***Why some church groups don’t arrange this sort of help for their fellow women I do not know.

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  123. YT (3 comments) says:

    Scott – if you think abortions are wrong, don’t have one.

    This may be a fun thought experiment for you, but the bottom line is that women who feel abortion is wrong won’t have them and those who feel they are not wrong, will consider them to be a valid option when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. This will continue to happen whether abortion is legal or not. This is not about ‘defending my sex’. It’s about reality – the reality that a woman decides based on her own integrity and moral compass whether or not to continue a pregnancy, and that is how it should be. The rest is just empty words from people who, for the most part, will never have to decide this for themselves but think it’s ok to decide for others.

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  124. SPC (5,563 comments) says:

    Should have mentioned today a woman can use her sister or neices eggs (if she is infertile) and have their embryo/husbands child carried by a surrogate.

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